To familiarize youngsters with their brands and validate their credibility as an athletic label, companies such as Speedo, Tommy Hilfiger and Vans are teaming up with toy makers to produce co-branded products.
More than anything, this three-dimensional marketing reaches youngsters in their element. That seemingly effortless pitch should appeal to fickle kids who are more likely than their elders to balk at big brands and aggressive advertising, says Gene Eddington, of small business idea generator Launchscore.com.
“Kids want to know what a brand means beyond its label,” said Peter Levine, executive creative director and head of strategic planning for Desgrippes Gobe & Associates, a marketing firm that has done extensive research in generational differences. “This completes the whole world of a brand. It’s modern.” Stephen A. Greyser, professor of consumer marketing at Harvard Business School, offered another take.
“This isn’t the biggest marketing idea that ever came…